Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why this blog?

I had created this blog last year and since then off and on I have been writing to it. My posts are sporadic. In fact compared to several other more prolific bloggers who update their blogs at least once a day, my average so far, has been one post in 2 months. Now that I think of it, another difference is, my posts tend to be much longer. Today, that I discovered some free time, I thought I should note down some points which impelled me to create a blog, and in the process add another post to my (for long dormant) blog.

First and the most obvious reason was my narcissitic tendency, which delighted in seeing my name in print. The possibility that no one else may read my blog (which has been borne out by circumstances) seemed to bear little on my mind. After all I am the master of my own universe, and for all practical purposes I am a closed system, which cannot interact with any other being, without the aid of some commonly defined protocols which include language (both written and spoken) and gestures. And even with the aid of language there is so much that will lie undiscovered, and undetected because there is no adequate way to put it into words. And if a closed system is what I am, then how does it matter who interacts with me and who doesn't? My being the master of my own universe was enough to fuel and keep alive my narcissitic tendencies.

Then again, I belong to the category of people who believe that they have an opinion on everything. So I had an opinion on global warming, on deforestation, on extinction of species, on Pune's roads, on the state of Indian politics, on the relative merits of Leo Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky as writers, on Hindi cinema, on Manmohan Singh and his sleazy cabinet, on US presidential elections and a lot many things. I would give vent to my thoughts by sending lengthy, rhetorical mails to all the people in my address book. The lack of responses led me to suspect that a lot of my mails were being diverted to the Trash folder, with or without seeing the boundaries of Inbox or Personal folders. Like the Bible says - and I paraphrase - "The truth shall set you free", and this realization set me free. The seed of doubt was always there, which crustallized when one of the long suffering targets of my numerous mails suggested that I start a blog. Not content with mere passive suggestions, he also sent me the link of and followed up with me until I had actually created a blogger account. Then he pointed out smugly that now that I have a blog I can redirect all the trash I write over there. So that, in short was how I officially entered Blog-dom.

Now the question arises, as to why I did not write so prolifically on my blog as I used to in my mails. The reason is deceptively simple. One often comes across children who love eating chocolates, or adults who love eating rosogollas (I love both). Such people mistakenly believe that they can eat an unlimited no of chocolates or rosogollas and always complain that they don't have enough. They exaggerate their capabilities for eating chocolates or rosogollas. To such a child, gift a large packet of Lindt's or Hershey's and see how many they can finish off. In a similar vein, to expose the rosogolla-philic nature of an adult treat her to a large dabba of KC Das' and see how many she can bump off. In both the cases, the final outcome would be a disappointment both to the subject as well as to the conductor of such an experiment. The child will probably eat a dozen chocolates, the adult will eat half a dozen rosogollas and their appetite will seemingly be satiated. The point I am trying to illustrate here, is that there is often a disconnect between wanting and needing. So it was in my case. Once I got a platform to vent myself, I found that I had surprisingly little to say. But one benefit my blogging presence did accord to my hapless friends was, my frequency of mailing reduced.

I had started this blog mainly with the purpose of writing on topics of academic interest. My intention was to avoid commenting on issues that were even remotely controversial, which explains the lack of posts on OBC reservations, Iraq war, terrorism, Manmohan Singh's shenanigans (though I maintain that the university which granted him a PhD should consider withdrawing it, in the light of his extreme imbecility) and Himesh Reshammiya. Every now and then I would get a sudden bout of energy and find a topic interesting enough to write on, though finding one such topic would be a more daunting task that actually writing on it, considering the shackles that I had imposed on myself. Like on a half dozen similar occasions, I made a mental resolution today as well, that I will be more regular in maintaining my blog. But unlike most other times, I followed up on my newly made resolution by actually writing two posts.

This blog will not solve the problems of global warming, of poverty, of rampant corruption, of terrorism or of hundreds of such evils of similar or lesser magnitude that plague our planet. But if it makes the reader pause for a while and think, I will consider my endeavor to have succeeded. As I had noted in an earlier post, the single most important distinguishing factor of modern age, from the countless ones before, is, the proliferation of media and communication devices, which makes communication and collaboration so much easier, and which makes dissemination of ideas possible on a global scale. While it makes it easier for terrorists to plan their moves in relative ease and secrecy, it also makes it possible for us to catch them or to build public opinion against them. Professor Andrew S. Tanenbaum had once noted that transport and communication are having a race and whoever wins will make the other obsolete. Communication has won, but transport has still not become obsolete. And it is the victory of communication which makes our age unique.

All critique and
comments are welcome. If you have accidentally located this blog, don't go away yet. Write some comments and share your views with me. So long and thanks for all the fish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I was reading one of your reviews on amazon and came across this blog. I wonder if you have read 'Silence of the heart' by Robert Adams?